Protesters disrupt tests at three West Coast schools

2016-10-29 12:47
(Duncan Alfreds, News24)

(Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Cape Town - Protesters have disrupted systemic tests at three schools on the West Coast despite a high court ruling that disruptions are unlawful, the Western Cape Education Department said on Friday.

South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) members disrupted tests being written at St Helena Bay Primary, Masiphathisane Primary, and Diazville Primary, acting provincial head of education Brian Schreuder said.

"The department will investigate all cases of disruption and will not hesitate to charge teachers guilty of any unlawful conduct," Schreuder said.

The department is currently testing the skills of learners in Grades 3, 6 and 9 in language and mathematics at 1474 schools in the province.

Schreuder said the tests were valuable for improving the quality of education in the province, and the vast majority of schools have completed them.

On Wednesday, Acting Justice McCurdie ruled in the Western Cape High Court that disrupting systemic tests was unlawful.

She ordered Sadtu and the Congress of South African Students (Cosas) to take all reasonable steps to curb any unlawful conduct by its members.

Among Sadtu and Cosas' grievances is the claim the tests are being used to "blame teachers" who are already suffering from overcrowded classes and a lack of resources, News24 reported last week.

The groups claimed that learners are "overtested" and that the tests do not add value.

In Khayelitsha last week, Sadtu branch members protested outside Injongo Primary School to stop the writing of a systemic test, GroundUp reported.

Branch deputy secretary Phelisa Ntlangeni said it was agreed at a prior meeting that no tests would be written, but Injongo had gone ahead with testing regardless.

She said learners were failing the exams because the paper is set different to their teaching style, and "big English words" were used that the learners do not understand.

Read more on:    sadtu  |  cape town  |  education

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